Friday, September 21, 2018

Atlantis mixed bag

“Atlantis Rising” is a magazine devoted to alternative knowledge claims. It's published six times per year. This issue is dated September/October 2017. The contributions are of very varied quality. To be honest, I simply refused to read Erich von Däniken's silly piece about – surprise, surprise – “evidence for Mayan astronauts”. This was debunked almost 50 years ago! Another tiresome article promotes some new material on Roswell. Apparently, remote viewers have “seen” what happened inside the UFO before it crashed. Except, of course, that they haven't since it's well established that the “UFO” was a weather balloon. Perhaps they can remote view Mayan astronauts instead? The article on the Bentz sphere was interesting, but perhaps too credulous. More disturbingly, several contributors seem to toy with young earth creationism! The letter section is easily the worst, with contributions at the level of Twitter's resident pseudo-anthropologist Hakan Rotmwrt.

I have something of a soft spot for lost civilizations á la Atlantis, so I did read those articles with great interest. Robert Schoch's piece on the mysterious caves in India was too speculative, but Schoch's general perspective at least deserves a hearing. The article on ancient giants in pre-Columbian America was intriguing. “Atlantis Rising” also points out that official archaeology has a tendency to backdate the origins of both Homo sapiens and hominids generally, suggesting that there may have been ample time for a lost civilization to both rise, decline and then completely disappear. There certainly was enough time for some pretty original evolutionary adaptations, such as the dwarfish “Hobbits” at Flores or the gigantic Heidelberg Man.

Many contributions in this issue deal with forthright occult issues. Of these, the most interesting was the biographical sketch of maverick Egyptologist Schwaller de Lubicz, who inspired John Anthony West (the man responsible for “turning” Robert Schoch). Other pieces deal with Gurdjieff, astrology, thought-forms and astral travel.

Not sure how to date this wild material, but eventually I give it three stars, or perhaps two-and-a-half, due to the fixation with tedious non-mysteries. If you're into suppressed knowledge claims, this may be a good teaser trailer!

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